JOPLIN, Mo. -- A new federal grant is aimed at getting more people into homes that are in the areas destroyed by the massive tornado on May 22, 2011. The Joplin Homebuyer Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It provides $8 million to help up to 400 middle-income families with down payments and closing fees to buy homes.
To qualify, the household annual income must not exceed 120 percent of the medium income in Joplin. The household would qualify for $20,000 to $30,000. However, the new home must be bought or built in the path of destruction left by the tornado.
"These homes can be provided for people that are making a decent living. It's just that last step towards getting the savings. It's very hard for a young couple with two children to do savings; you have to be pretty diligent and usually your needs are greater than what you have available,” said Crystal Harrington, executive officer for the Home Builders Association.